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Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology starts cancer research based on Homeopathy tenets

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The elite laboratories of the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (formerly Besu and BE College) have initiated research on early diagnosis of cancer cells in the human body on the lines of homeopathic principles, prompting leading city doctors to say that already rationed state funding for medical research should be spent on tried-and-tested methods of allopathic treatment instead of encouraging alternative methods.

Some doctors also feel that a centre of excellence like the IIEST should not be "used" by the Centre to fulfil its ulterior motive of "saffronisation".

The IIEST has been sanctioned a grant of Rs 11 crore by the Ayush ministry to start the Bholanath Chakraborty Centre for Advanced Research in Homeopathy.

The first tranche of the grant already in, the institute has appointed research scholars and faculty members. The overall research progress will be monitored by Rathin Chakraborty, noted homeopath and Howrah mayor, who is also the son of the late legendary homeopath, Bholanath Chakraborty.

The main aim of the research is to ascertain if it is possible for homeopathic drugs to identify and intercept cancer cells as they are formed in the body and start knocking out healthy cells.

Inflammatory diseases and the effect of homoeopathic medicines on them is also being studied as part of a second research project. The researchers will also try to find out a quality control method for Indian homoeopathic drugs.

"Quality of homeopathic drugs varies from store to store. Some stores are considered good but there is no scientific basis for this. Again German or American drugs available in many stores are believed to be better than Indian drugs. Through our research we will try to find out a method of standardized dilution and "succussion" (the vigorous shaking done to prepare homoeopathic drugs) method that can be uniformly used by all stores to ensure quality," said Ananya Barui, who is part of the project.

Director of IIEST, A K Ray, said: "We are happy that Ayush has chosen us to set up the homeopathic centre to conduct advanced research. Most patients in our country still use allopathic medicine but there is science behind homoeopathy, too, and we are trying to research and document evidence. Drug-cell reactions in the homoeopathic way need intense study."

Senior allopathic doctors in the city, though, are not convinced. "I do agree that many people in Bengal somehow believe in homeopathy. But I feel the Centre should spend more on conventional allopathic research because it benefits maximum numbers and is backed by science," said oncologist Gautam Mukhopadhyay.

Director of Institute of Child Health, Apurba Ghosh, said he had nothing against homeopathy but in a developing country like ours, every rupee spent from state coffers was valuable and the Centre could have put this huge amount to more "meaningful use". Homoeopath Rathin Chakraborty feels it's time homeopathy is studied in modern context. "If you replace some old terminologies Hahnemann used, you will see how relevant homeopathic treatment is in modern medical science."

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